Mary and Cliff, owners of Glasshouse Gourmet Snails greeted us as we pulled up the gravel drive to their house, a wonderfully preserved Queenlander, which serves as the command center.
We were welcomed onto the porch for a cuppa and a conversation about raising snails.
We have enjoyed escargot now and again, but never really gave much thought to where it came from — we were in totally unfamiliar territory.
When Cliff explained how the canned snails we had experienced in the past were vastly inferior in taste, texture, and nutrition to the fresh version, it made sense.
Still, it didn’t really hit home until Mary brought some of the buggers out for us to sample.
Rather than being buried in butter and garlic, these fresh fellas were lightly seasoned, set in a mushroom and cooked for only a few minutes.
We were a little hesitant, its nakedness was a stark reminder of what we were actually eating. Could it be that the butter and garlic (and dipping bread) is the part we actually love about escargot? Uh-oh.
But after our first tentative bite, we discovered a clean flavor and texture unlike any snails we had previously encountered.
More, please. Mary was happy to oblige.
Having tasted the difference, we were ready to see how they are raised.
Keeping the little critters confined is a bit more problematic than say, fencing cattle, but they certainly take up a lot less space.
The snails roam their range in greenhouse-type buildings where the climate is controlled to be exactly to their liking.
At first you don’t see them, then you realize they’re everywhere!
Other than feeding and watching said climate, things pretty much take care of themselves.
Eggs get laid, babies hatch, young snails grow without fear of predators and, when they reach the proper size, they are boxed up live and sent off to market.
It’s a downright peaceful routine that Cliff and Mary have been perfecting here in the Hinterland since 2008.
And more than worthy of its designation, the Snails Pace Retreat.
David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com
Visit the Glasshouse Gourmet Snails Website
See our entire journey through the Hinterland
See where we stayed! Spicers Tamarind Retreat
Watch us skydive above beautiful Queensland – yikes!
Follow us into thethe Noosa Everglades!
Go for the Gold Coast of Queensland and watch us feed crocs!
Bucket list check! We snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef!
Find out how we saw all of the bizarre Australian animals in one place!
Let Us Introdoos-ya to Noosa and Spread a Little Sunshine Coast
Huge thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland for providing this adventure! As always, all opinions are our own.
Click here to see all of our adventures in Queensland!